Sean Forbes, 34

Co-Founder
DPAN.TV The Sign Language Channel

Sean Forbes

Forbes grew up in Farmington Hills spending his formative years in his parents basement drumming, writing songs, and dreaming about becoming a rock star. After graduating from Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills, he attended and graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York with a multi-disciplinarian degree focused on accounting, communications, and management.

In 2006 Forbes returned to Oakland County to form a nonprofit organization called D-PAN, the Deaf Professional Arts Network based in Ferndale. His vision was to make music accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing community by creating American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation music videos of popular songs featuring Deaf and hard of hearing performers. To date D-PAN has produced ASL music videos for The White Stripes, Eminem, John Mayer, Christina Aguilera, Walk The Moon, and more, all with their support.

2012 was a memorable year for Forbes who achieved his lifelong dream by releasing his debut album Perfect Imperfection on Web Entertainment. The record label is best known for discovering and producing hip-hop artist Eminem. Working closely with record producer Jake Bass, Forbes wrote and performed all of the lyrics and created music videos for every song with Deaf video director Adrean Mangiardi. Forbes and his band, several who are also Deaf, have toured the world performing shows with the lyrics being shown behind them as Forbes raps and signs the lyrics in ASL simultaneously creating a truly accessible experience.

In 2015 after noticing ongoing frustration in the Deaf community regarding limited accessibility to information Forbes and D-PAN formed DPAN.TV The Sign Language Channel an online video streaming site that produces and brings the best ASL content to one place with closed captioning and voiceovers, creating a truly accessible experience. The site debuted in March of 2016 and is free for users to sign up.  

In September of 2016 DPAN.TV made history by airing the presidential debates live on on their site with ASL interpreters on screen conveying to viewers what the candidates where saying, this had never happened before. The broadcasts received over 750,000 views. Forbes is an executive producer of a daily news program called DTV News that features Deaf news anchors around the country who sign the news in ASL, with voiceovers and captioning creating a one-of-a-kind news program.  

He is a proud husband to Joanne, and a rock and roll Dad to Quinn. He currently resides in Royal Oak. 


The information presented here was accurate as of January 1, 2017.